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Duke star Zion Williamson poked in left eye, suffers double vision

Coach K talks about Zion Williamson’s injury against Florida State

The standout freshman got poked in the eye late in the first half and didn't play again against the Seminoles
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The standout freshman got poked in the eye late in the first half and didn't play again against the Seminoles

Duke freshman Zion Williamson suffered double vision Saturday after being poked in the left eye during the No. 1 Blue Devils’ 80-78 win over No. 13 Florida State.

Williamson did not play during the second half after being hit by Florida State guard Trent Forrest while Williamson was dribble-driving toward the Blue Devils basket with 1:26 left in the first half. No foul was called on the play.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game the 6-7 Williamson suffered from double vision throughout the second half, making it impossible to put him back in the game.

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But Williamson’s double vision finally cleared post game, increasing the chances he’ll be available to play Monday night when Duke plays Syracuse at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“I’m not saying it was intentional,” Krzyzewski said. “But he got poked right in the eye. He’s better now. So hopefully he’ll be able to play on Monday. But that’s a big loss. It’s a big loss. For this game? Are you kidding? Especially with the athleticism we were facing.”

Williamson turned the ball over on the play and went down to the court in pain. He got up and walked to the bench but did not return to the game. Williamson left the bench area along with Duke athletic trainer Jose Fonseca and headed to the locker room with 30 seconds left until halftime.

Williamson came out for second-half warmups and participated in the layup line. But his double vision failed to clear so assistant coach Nate James informed Krzyzewski.

“I wasn’t out on the court yet,” Krzyzewski said. “Nate ran back and told me he had double vision. I said he can’t play obviously if he has that. It didn’t clear up.”

Williamson didn’t experience any headaches with the double vision, Krzyzewski said.

Williamson entered the game averaging 20.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Prior to his injury, he scored 11 points with eight rebounds and two assists against Florida State.

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An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.
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